Lichfield District Council passed a motion on 13th October proposed by the Labour Group supporting the Local Electricity Bill promoted by Peter Aldous MP and asking local MPs to support the Bill in Parliament. Michael says “I have now received a formal request from Council Leader, Doug Pullen, inviting me to vote for the Bill. This is very sensible legislation whose broad principles I support, but I have to tell the Council that the Bill is very unlikely to be debated let alone voted on.
“I am often asked by constituents to support various Bills in Parliament. One such recent Bill was the ‘Environment Bill’ from the Green MP, Caroline Lucas. Some constituents were very excited about it. What they did not know was that the Bill had no contents with blank pages beyond the title of the Bill – this is known as a ‘Dummy Bill’. She knew no time had been allocated for it to be heard on the floor of the House. She just hadn’t told anyone. Many constituents felt betrayed as a consequence. Scores of such Bills are produced each year, but go nowhere.
“Peter Aldous MP and I have discussed his Local Electricity Bill in detail. It does have contents and its Second Reading is scheduled to be heard on Friday 5th February. On that day, 12 Bills are listed and the Local Electricity Bill is number six on the day. However, normally in the 5 hours allocated, only the first one or maybe two Bills are voted on after long debates. The rest run out of time and sink without trace.
“If next time the Council plan to spend their valuable time debating the merits of Parliamentary Bills, they might like to check with me first whether the Bill has any chance of going anywhere. This is important for the reputation of the Council and its members.”
The Motion proposed by Cllr Norman and passed by the Council included the clauses:
(iii) accordingly resolves to support the Local Electricity Bill, supported by many MPs from both sides of the house which, if made law, would establish a Right to Local Supply which would promote local renewable electricity supply companies and co-operatives by making the setup and running costs of selling renewable electricity to local customers proportionate to the size of the supply operation; and
(iv) further resolves to
- inform the local media of this decision,
- write to local MPs, asking them to support the Bill